Monday, April 13, 2020

Quiet As It's Kept The Kochtopus Is A Reservoir Of Managerial Intellect And Unified Cultural Vision |  Last year, I announced that I would give a series of speeches on China, and this is part of that. It’s the context in which state and local government officials ought to think about the way they lead with respect to our relationship. It’s important. China matters.

It’s been part of my mission at the State Department to mobilize all parts of the United States Government. I was out in Silicon Valley a couple weeks ago to talk to America’s leading tech companies about this very set of issues.

And I need your help, too.

What China does in Topeka and Sacramento reverberates in Washington, in Beijing, and far beyond. Competition with China is happening. It’s happening in your state.

In fact, I would be surprised if most of you in the audience have not been lobbied by the Chinese Communist Party directly.

Chinese Communist Party friendship organizations like the one that I referenced earlier are in Richmond; Minneapolis; Portland; Jupiter, Florida; and many other cities around the country.
But sometimes China’s activities aren’t quite that public, and I want to talk about some of that today. 

Let me read you an excerpt of a letter from a Chinese diplomat. It was China’s Consul General in New York sent a letter last month to the speaker of one of your state legislatures.

Here’s what the letter said in part. It said, quote, “As we all know, Taiwan is part of China… avoid engaging in any official contact with Taiwan, including sending congratulatory messages to the electeds, introducing bills and proclamations for the election, sending officials and representatives to attend the inauguration ceremony, and inviting officials in Taiwan to visit the United States.” End of quote from the letter.

Think about that. You had a diplomat from China assigned here to the United States, a representative of the Chinese Communist Party in New York City, sending an official letter urging that an American elected official shouldn’t exercise his right to freedom of speech.

Let that sink in for just a minute.

And this isn’t a one-off event. It’s happening all across the country.

Chinese consulates in New York, in Illinois, in Texas, and two in California, bound by the diplomatic responsibilities and rights of the Vienna Convention, are very politically active at the state level, as is the embassy right here in Washington, D.C.

Maybe some of you have heard about the time when the Chinese consulate paid the UC-San Diego students to protest the Dalai Lama.

Or last August, when former governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi received a letter from a diplomat in the consul’s office in Houston, threatening to cancel a Chinese investment if the governor chose to travel to Taiwan. Phil went anyway.